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Accra To Benefit From $125m Road Safety Project   
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Alfred Oko Vanderpuije
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An international philanthropic organisation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, in collaboration with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), has rolled out a five-year road safety project in Accra aimed at reducing injuries and fatalities through road accidents.

The project, known as the Bloomberg Global Road Safety Initiative, will have technical experts in chosen fields to train major agencies of road safety in the city.

An amount of $125 million has been allocated to 10 cities around the world, including Accra, which is one of the cities in the world that records high rates of road crashes and fatalities.

The beneficiary cities include Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Bandung in Indonesia, Bangkok in Thailand and Bogota in Colombia. The others are Fortaleza in Brazil, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, Mumbai in India, Sao Paolo in Brazil and Shanghai in China.

Accra selected

At the launch of the project in Accra last Monday, the Chief Executive Officer of the AMA, Dr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, said that the new programme would work with partners at the national level to strengthen road safety legislation and also at the city level where proven road safety interventions would be implemented.

He said he believed that the project would help reduce congestion on major roads in Accra during rush hours.

According to him, with assistance from the world’s leading experts in road safety, a network of visionary leaders in the recipient cities who are committed to implementing bold and new efforts to save lives and protect their citizens from road traffic injuries would be established.

Dr Vanderpuije stated that the alarming statistics on road crashes in Accra was what prompted the assembly to apply for the support.

Road audit

The Minister of Roads and Highways, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, noted that the partnership between Bloomberg and the AMA was commendable.

He said the ministry had commissioned a road safety audit aimed at identifying the causes of road crashes on the country’s major roads.

He said the ministry had begun laying asphalt on 350 kilometers of the major roads in the country.

Alhaji Fuseini called on stakeholders to work to ensure that drivers fastened their seatbelts, avoided drink-driving and speeding.

Technical assistance

A representative of Bloomberg Philanthropies, Ms Kelly Larson, said the selected cities would receive senior-level and full-time staff to work with for a period of five years.

According to her, there would be broad technical assistance from the world’s leading road safety organisations. In addition, she said police personnel and other relevant agencies in the city would be provided further training.  

"We can prevent millions of road traffic fatalities and injuries through stronger laws, more effective enforcement and better infrastructure,” she said. 

She said the 10 cities selected to participate in the five-year road safety programme had demonstrated a high commitment to the project and the foundation was excited to support them.
Source: Daily Graphic

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